Breathwork as a Natural tool for ADHD
Stress effects people with ADHD dramatically. Over time, this stress load can build up on people with ADHD to become anxiety and restlessness. Deep breathing techniques have been shown to counteract the effects of stress and help people with ADHD to relax. By reducing stress and relieving anxiety this can be a huge win for people with ADHD
Firstly what is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is similar to ADD, which stands for for Attention Deficit Disorder. Both forms are considered to be a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person's ability to focus, control impulses, and regulate behaviour. ADHD is typically diagnosed in childhood, but it can also affect adults.
The three main types of ADHD/ ADD are:
Inattentive type: People with this type of ADHD have difficulty paying attention, following instructions, organizing tasks, and finishing tasks. They may also be forgetful and easily distracted.
Hyperactive-impulsive type: People with this type of ADHD are hyperactive and impulsive. They may have trouble sitting still, talking excessively, interrupting others, and engaging in risky behaviour.
Combined type: People with this type of ADHD have symptoms of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types.
Common symptoms of ADHD include
Difficulty paying attention to details and making careless mistakes
Trouble following through on instructions and finishing tasks
Forgetfulness and distractibility
Fidgeting, squirming, and restlessness
Talking excessively and interrupting others
Difficulty waiting for their turn
Impulsivity, such as acting without thinking about the consequences
Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
These symptoms can impact a person's ability to succeed in school, work, and personal relationships. It is important to note that not all people with ADHD/ADD will experience all these symptoms together, they can vary in severity. If you or someone you know is experiencing these traits or if you can relate to them, it is recommended to seek an evaluation from a mental health professional. Many adults can go undiagnosed with ADHD from childhood and have masked symptoms with coping skills over time and developed high functioning anxiety along with other behavioural traits.
But not all ADHD/ADD symptoms are a crutch in modern society, when managed and understood those with ADHD can flourish in environments and surroundings they are mainly interested in and or passionate about, they have excellent problem solving skills, a quick wit , and a good sense of humour. Studies show they are quick to act in emergencies and do well under pressure. They also can be extremely creative and love to find ways to express it daily, be it art, writing, exercise, teaching etc.
But what can breathwork do for you and people with ADHD/ADD?
1. Improve mental clarity and focus
Breathwork can help to clear the mind and increase focus and concentration. By bringing more oxygen to the brain, breathwork can enhance mental clarity and cognitive function. This is a big one for ADHD’ers. Consistent breathwork practices will help bring balance and focus to retrack symptoms of distractions, forgetfulness and completing tasks.
2. Enhance physical performance
Breathwork can improve physical performance by increasing oxygen intake and improving lung capacity. Athletes and performers often use breathwork techniques to improve endurance and stamina. Our brain releases several important chemicals. Endorphins, for one, hormone-like compounds that regulate mood, pleasure, and pain. That same burst of activity also elevates the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels. These brain chemicals affect focus and attention, which are in short supply in those with ADHD. “When you increase dopamine levels, you increase the attention system’s ability to be regular and consistent, which has many good effects, reducing the craving for new stimuli and increasing alertness.
3. Boosting immune system function
Deep breathing can stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing toxins and waste from the body. This can help to boost immune system function and support overall health and well-being. A healthy immune system equals a healthy mind a natural equaliser to reduce over sensitivity and emotional dysregulation which can be very common in ADHD traits.
4. Improve sleep quality
Breathwork can help to calm the mind and relax the body, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. This can lead to improved sleep quality and overall feelings of rest and rejuvenation. Nasal breathing at night will tap into the rest and digest response (Parasympathetic Nervous System). People with ADHD can have great difficulty switching off at night, being over or under stimulated during the day and prone to restlessness, they would find it difficult to turn off the overthinking monkey mind and find other ways to wind down , working on multiple work projects, phone scrolling, listening to music or go into autopilot with the TV on which is all counterproductive but an impulsive trait that’s hard to get away from unless its managed and understood.
Consistent regular practice of breathwork can have many physical, mental, and emotional benefits, making it a real tool for promoting health and well-being. Breathwork can also improve self-regulation for people with ADHD/ADD along with the host of benefits listed above. When we compare the symptoms of ADHD/ADD and the benefits of Breathwork it seems to be a no brainer as to why breathwork can be used to improve the well-being and vitality for those with ADHD.
“I have personally tried and tested Breathwork for my own ADD and I can honestly say it makes a huge difference to my day to day and mental health”.
“ WHY not give it a go and see for yourself”
If you liked this blog and can relate or know someone with ADHD/ADD why not suggest to them or consider the path on Breathwork.
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